Show your Mule

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Bloke
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Re: Show your Mule

Postby Bloke » Tue Jul 31, 2018 1:21 am

You do very nice work Terry. :cool:

Thanks for sharing. :)
A day without laughter is a day wasted. ~ Charlie Chaplin

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MichaelScott
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Re: Show your Mule

Postby MichaelScott » Tue Jul 31, 2018 7:36 am

Terry, I like your work too. Varied and interesting stuff. Thanks very much for your photos and descriptions.
What doesn’t kill you will make you stronger. Except infantry. Infantry will kill you.

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terry mc
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Re: Show your Mule

Postby terry mc » Wed Aug 01, 2018 1:06 pm

Thanks guys I enjoy it, usually moreso when my garage is not 110 degrees.

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Re: Show your Mule

Postby terry mc » Tue Sep 11, 2018 7:16 pm

Okay,
So I finally got everything together materialwise for my wifes knife.
Let me know what you think.
I have been sitting on this Damascus blade for a while and it is sharp.

Some of the details on this one
Brass 4 point Compass inlaid pin.
metal spacers, I wanted to pick up on the colors in the Shokwood and used both Copper and Brass spacers. (I will say this is the last time I do that it was a major pain due to the different heat expansion and contraction of those 2 materials)
Shokwood is Tiffany Burberry.
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Here you can see how the light on the pearlescence brings it up a lighter turquoise.
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This shot shows the copper and brass spacers, I refer to them as metal racing stripes.
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This last shot does not do complete justice to the contouring of the metal spacers, they are truly beveled to the finger cut in the scale.
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Xplorer
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Re: Show your Mule

Postby Xplorer » Tue Nov 06, 2018 9:56 am

This is a Mule handle I did a little over a year ago and never posted. This one was a gift for a forum member. Bearfacedkiller donated the 20CV Mule and I donated the custom handle and sheath.
For the handle I stabilized a piece of cork oak in black stabilizing resin. The cork started out as an experiment, as I wasn't sure how well it would accept being stabilized. When it was finished I was a little surprised and very pleased with how strong and stable the wood became.
I fitted the cork to some black Ctek and mounted the 2 on red G10 liners. For hardware I used nickel silver corbys. The sheath is Kydex.

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Chad
:spyder: Spyderco fan and collector since 1991. :spyder:
Father of 2, nature explorer, custom knife maker and So. Cal native.
@Xplorer42 on Instagram.

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legOFwhat?
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Re: Show your Mule

Postby legOFwhat? » Tue Nov 06, 2018 11:43 am

You folks have any tips or trick on how to keep drool from my keyboard?


:D So jealous of the skills ya'll have!
-Larry

terry mc
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Re: Show your Mule

Postby terry mc » Tue Nov 06, 2018 3:27 pm

Xplorer,
very nice as always.
Seeing your work is what inspired me to try my hand at it.
Its funny you posted up that knife as I was just contemplating doing a piece
of Shokwood with a blend in a curve similar to what you did there.

Hmmm, may have to think of something new now. Ha, ha.

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Xplorer
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Re: Show your Mule

Postby Xplorer » Wed Nov 07, 2018 9:28 am

Thank you for the kind words terry mc.

It's great to see your inspiration turned into action! Your handles are beautiful! Keep up the good work.

If you were considering blending a couple materials together with a curved junction you should go for it IMO. Don't let the fact that I did one like that stop you. Although I've only done one Mule like that, I do that style handle junction on my own knives fairly frequently. There are a few little tips and secrets (not really secret) that I've learned along the way that make it a little easier. If you ever have any questions please feel free to ask, I would be happy to help.
Here's a just a few examples of some handles I've done recently with curved junctions..

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Best regards,
Chad
:spyder: Spyderco fan and collector since 1991. :spyder:
Father of 2, nature explorer, custom knife maker and So. Cal native.
@Xplorer42 on Instagram.

terry mc
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Re: Show your Mule

Postby terry mc » Fri Nov 09, 2018 11:02 am

Thanks Chad. I appreciate your offer.
I will touch base soon.

Tarheelpwr
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Re: Show your Mule

Postby Tarheelpwr » Mon Nov 26, 2018 11:29 pm

I've been searching through this, and the work is amazing! I'm looking to do my first set of scales for my LC200N mule. I have 1/4" denim micarta. I want to do removable handles. I'll be using the 3/16" holes in the handle. What hardware have you all been using for something like this? I'm not sure the length I need, etc.

terry mc
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Re: Show your Mule

Postby terry mc » Tue Nov 27, 2018 12:41 pm

Hi Tarheelpwr,
I have NOT DONE what you are looking to do, however I have seen it done.
you will want to do a fastener that sometimes goes by the name of a Chicago screw, which is a screw and nut that have similar heads on them.
You will probably want to countersink the heads so they do not stick into your hand.
From what I have read the Micarta can be tricky for drilling etc.. but if I were doing it I would try using a forstner bit to do the countersinks.

There are a lot of fasteners out there, Corby bolts, ChainRing Bolts, and then you can do threaded connectors with identical screws from both sides.
The normal Corby's are designed to be sanded off flush so they look like a normal pin when done.
Chainring bolts tend to look a little different from each side.
The threaded connectors might be tricky to keep the connector centered while attaching the screws from both sides.
And I am sure there are probably some drawbacks to the Chicago screws.

A couple important things will be planning.
you will want to know how wide your handle is going to be after shaping. Mine change dramatically from the original thickness as I tend to do a
3D contour for comfort and thickness varies from point to point on the scale.
That will help you decide how deep you will countersink the heads. Too shallow and the head will stick out, too deep and the material will
break out from behind it.
Then you will have to figure out the distance between the heads of the screws because the screw and nut will need to be
just long enough without being too long so they do not bottom out leaving the handle material loose.

It sounds like a lot but really each step is not that big a deal and proper planning can save you from having a lot more work at the end
or throwing away material when you in the middle of the project. I have a pair of scales setting on my bench to remind me to double check
everything since I flipped one side when I was shaping them and that left the pattern unusable.

Think everything through and take your time it is a lot of fun!

All this said Xplorer may have more experience in this area and I find his input valuable, so if he pipes in listen closely to what he says.

Terry

Tarheelpwr
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Re: Show your Mule

Postby Tarheelpwr » Wed Nov 28, 2018 9:46 pm

Thanks Terry! Chicago screws are on my radar as are barrel pivots from USAAknife. That’s where I’m currently hung up. My thickness will be right at .64” with .25” scale and the .14” handle. I’m not sure how much to subtract for countersinking the heads. I’m leaning towards the 1/2” length by 3-16dia pivots.

https://usaknifemaker.com/pivot-barrel- ... hread.html

terry mc
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Re: Show your Mule

Postby terry mc » Thu Nov 29, 2018 10:26 am

If you have a standing belt sander or a grinder you could shorten both the screw and nut to fit, taking a little at a time.

It needs to be a finer grit (120 max) either way and you will have to debur once you have shortened so the threads will not be messed up.

That way you can order a little long and figure it out in process.

I would also figure on having spares on hand for both the bolts and the Micarta.
Trial and error usually means there will be some error the first time and it sucks to have to wait for new parts to come in by mail.

Tarheelpwr
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Re: Show your Mule

Postby Tarheelpwr » Thu Nov 29, 2018 7:16 pm

Yes, I agree. I’ll order extra bolts for sure. I’ve had the micarta sitting around, so I’ll order extra if I have to.

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Xplorer
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Re: Show your Mule

Postby Xplorer » Sun Dec 02, 2018 11:16 pm

Tarheelpwr wrote:
Wed Nov 28, 2018 9:46 pm

... That’s where I’m currently hung up. My thickness will be right at .64” with .25” scale and the .14” handle. I’m not sure how much to subtract for countersinking the heads. I’m leaning towards the 1/2” length by 3-16dia pivots.

https://usaknifemaker.com/pivot-barrel- ... hread.html

It's great to see you're doing your own handle Tarheelpwr!

To get your hardware measurements set, first set (or pin) your scales on either side on the knife. With the sharp edge of the knife facing downward so you are looking at the spine of the knife, draw the side profile that you intend to create...draw it on the top edge of the scales. For example, maybe you want to taper toward the front, or round the sides, or coke bottle the rear, whatever...when you draw the side profile on the top of the scales you can see where the outside edges will be and measure the width of the hardware you actually need. Then the depth you will countersink for the heads will be whatever the thickness of the head is plus any additional depth you choose to add if any.

You can probably find a size that will work without modification. If you have to purchase hardware that isn't perfectly sized for your handle it's ok as long as it's a little too long and not too short. The shafts of the hardware are easy to shorten if needed. If you need help with ways to shorten them cleanly and/or keeping them perpendicular let me know.

Since your handle is going on an LC200N Mule I'm curious if you plan to use a liner on the micarta scales? The only reason I ask is because LC200N is so rust resistant and a lot of people will tend to use it in wet places and watery activities. Micarta will do fine in wet conditions as long as you wipe it down before you put it away. But, it does absorb water and it will grow mildew if you allow it to stay wet. If it is likely to get wet much, lining the micarta with G10 liners will seal the "inside" of the scales so water doesn't get trapped between the tang and the micarta.

If you need any help let me know.

Have fun,

Chad
:spyder: Spyderco fan and collector since 1991. :spyder:
Father of 2, nature explorer, custom knife maker and So. Cal native.
@Xplorer42 on Instagram.

Tarheelpwr
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Re: Show your Mule

Postby Tarheelpwr » Mon Dec 03, 2018 7:13 pm

Thanks Chad! That’s a good idea on drawing the contour. I think I’m on the right track. I’m going to leave this one pretty much flat since it’s my first. I’ll taper the edges and add a thumb notch, but nothing that will affect the area where the hardware is. USA knife said the head thickness is .0365”, so there’s my countersink depth. It looks like the head is 1/4” and the post is 3/16”. Is 1/16 enough material to really secure the handle, or should I go with a washer to provide more material to clamp?

I appreciate the info on mildew. I had not thought about that. I’ll add a white or neon orange G10 liner. What thickness do you recommend for a .25” scale? Is JB weld OK to laminate them together? I’d rather not buy new stuff if I don’t have to.

I’m also looking at a couple more projects. I’m going to put handles on some S30V Buck paklite as well. Since these are hunting, I want good grip. Do you recommend medium or coarse peel ply G10?

Last question is working with G10 in general. Is it as nasty as some say? Obviously, I’ll wear a mask. But what is your experience with it? I’ve been hesitant to use it based on some horror stories, but there really isn’t a good alternate for bright (hunter) orange with good grip.

Sorry for all the random questions and long thread.

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Xplorer
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Re: Show your Mule

Postby Xplorer » Mon Dec 03, 2018 9:43 pm

Tarheelpwr wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 7:13 pm
Thanks Chad! That’s a good idea on drawing the contour. I think I’m on the right track. I’m going to leave this one pretty much flat since it’s my first. I’ll taper the edges and add a thumb notch, but nothing that will affect the area where the hardware is. USA knife said the head thickness is .0365”, so there’s my countersink depth. It looks like the head is 1/4” and the post is 3/16”. Is 1/16 enough material to really secure the handle, or should I go with a washer to provide more material to clamp?
1/16" should be fine. You shouldn't need a lot of clamping force. That said, when you're making a removable handle you have some other concerns you'll need to address. If your hardware doesn't fit snugly in the holes in the tang the slop will allow your scales to move under force no matter how much clamping force the hardware provides. The holes in a Mule tang are pretty large so you might want to check on that. One of the things I've done in the past has been to fill the holes I want to use with epoxy (JB Weld would work here too) and cover both sides with wax paper and clamp flat planks on both sides while it cures. Then I can drill the holes the exact diameter I want in the epoxy and once the scales are in place the epoxy is supported and provides plenty of strength in that application. Another option you have is to permanently attach the handle with epoxy in addition to the hardware.
Tarheelpwr wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 7:13 pm
I appreciate the info on mildew. I had not thought about that. I’ll add a white or neon orange G10 liner. What thickness do you recommend for a .25” scale? Is JB weld OK to laminate them together? I’d rather not buy new stuff if I don’t have to.
Any thickness that appeals to you aesthetically will work fine because if the scale gets too wide you'll sand it off the outside. G10 liner comes as thin as .014" and even that thin material will provide the water-proofing. AKS (Alpha Knife Supply) sells 8.5"x11.5" of .014" black G10 for $6.00. I do not recommend JB Weld here. Epoxy is gong to have the bond and the physical properties you want. Generally speaking I would suggest to anyone making handles that they use a high quality SLOW curing (30 Min) epoxy for best durability, water resistance and stress free working time. In this case, you could use the regular fast setting stuff (5 Min) you'd find at Home Depot because gluing a liner to a scale is quick and easy.
Tarheelpwr wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 7:13 pm
I’m also looking at a couple more projects. I’m going to put handles on some S30V Buck paklite as well. Since these are hunting, I want good grip. Do you recommend medium or coarse peel ply G10?
I suggest the course peel ply. It's really easy to sand the texture down to whatever feels good to you. You'll need some sand paper. 800 grit for a soft satin look and feel. 2000 or 2500 for a shiny smooth polished look and feel.
Tarheelpwr wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 7:13 pm
Last question is working with G10 in general. Is it as nasty as some say? Obviously, I’ll wear a mask. But what is your experience with it? I’ve been hesitant to use it based on some horror stories, but there really isn’t a good alternate for bright (hunter) orange with good grip.

Sorry for all the random questions and long thread.
G10 is something you don't want to breathe. The same can be said for just about every handle material frankly. CF is even worse to work with. I work with G10, CF, Ti, Stabilized wood, Ctek, Micarta, antler/horn, mammoth tooth and stabilized turquoise and I would say G10 is my second favorite to work with. G10 is very tough and requires some effort to shape, but it's consistent, stable and it won't surprise you along the way. For a G10 liner I wouldn't be concerned about what effect it will have because it's such a small amount of material. For full G10 scales you need to consider how you are going to cut them into the profile shape you want. I use metal cutting band saw. My dad cut some G10 scales I sent him on his wood cutting band saw (with a brand new blade) and it threw tiny sparks as pieces of his blade sheared off. The new wood cutting blade was trash after cutting 3" of 1/4" G10. You can shape G10 on various types of power sanding equipment or you can just use a rasp for main shaping and follow with sandpaper to finish.

If issues like having the right tools for cutting the material or shaping concern you, I would suggest stabilized wood (although not totally stable) is the easiest to work overall..just FYI.

Let me know if you need any pictures or explanations as you start thinking and/or working through the process. Enjoy the journey. :D

Chad
:spyder: Spyderco fan and collector since 1991. :spyder:
Father of 2, nature explorer, custom knife maker and So. Cal native.
@Xplorer42 on Instagram.

Tarheelpwr
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Re: Show your Mule

Postby Tarheelpwr » Tue Dec 04, 2018 3:32 pm

What kind of double sided tape do you use to attach the scales back to back while you work on them?

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Xplorer
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Re: Show your Mule

Postby Xplorer » Tue Dec 04, 2018 11:41 pm

I don't use any tape. I drill the hardware holes while the scales are still rectangular. Then for the remainder of the process I can use the hardware to hold the handle on the tang. Here' some pics of removable hardware WIP.
Notice in the first picture, that once you drill the hardware holes you can use drill bits as temporary "pins" as well. I have a drawer of chipped or broken drill bits for just that purpose. :D
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If you're doing a permanently mounted handle corby bolts are great and you can use them as regular removable bolts during the process prior to final gluing.
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CK
:spyder: Spyderco fan and collector since 1991. :spyder:
Father of 2, nature explorer, custom knife maker and So. Cal native.
@Xplorer42 on Instagram.

Tarheelpwr
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Re: Show your Mule

Postby Tarheelpwr » Wed Dec 05, 2018 1:10 pm

Thanks again. I’m slowly putting my shopping list together.


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